Celtic return to Scottish Premiership action today at Paradise in their pursuit to pull closer to the top of the table.
The Hoops are third heading into this afternoon’s encounter after Hearts moved ahead of them in the standings on Saturday, although they have two games in hand to go back into second, starting with this clash against Aberdeen.
Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys side come into the game off the back of a 3-2 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League, and he could be tempted to make a few changes to his starting XI.
One player who could be thrown into the mix is young winger Liel Abada. He could come in and replace James Forrest, who endured a difficult evening against the Bundesliga outfit.
As per SofaScore, Forrest lost 75% of his duels on the pitch and failed to make a single clearance, tackle, interception or block. He also failed with his one attempted dribble and did not create a single chance for his teammates, whilst he ended the game without a shot on goal.
This suggests that he was off the pace and was unable to make a positive impact on the right wing. Therefore, it could be the ideal time for Postecoglou to axe him from the line-up and unleash Abada from the start, as the young Israel international has the quality to be a game-changer for Celtic.
The 20-year-old has averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.12 in the Premiership this season, with three goals and two assists in 11 starts. He has created a whopping nine ‘big chances’ in the league, suggesting that he deserves more than just two assists for his creative efforts.
Former Hoops player Frank McAvennie previously hailed the attacker, telling Football Insider: “He’s only 20, isn’t he? There was an element of resting him, I get that. He needs to manage that squad.
“He looks a wonderful player and when he first arrived he wanted everything. There was an early game where he took the ball off Edouard for a penalty and Edouard just went ‘no, that’s mine’.
“That was brilliant and it’s what you want to see from a young player. You can’t buy that desire and hunger. He probably didn’t expect to play as much as he has so he will be delighted.
The £2.7m-rated gem has seven goals and five assists in all competitions for the Hoops and could be a difference-maker for Postecoglou’s side against Aberdeen. He has shown with his aforementioned statistics that he is capable of creating big chances for his teammates, and his magic from the wing could be a game-changer, which is why he must start today.